NTARS crime briefing

Funding boost for anti-social behaviour app helping to cut town centre crime

Ongoing work to make Northampton town centre a ‘no-go zone’ for criminals has been boosted by new funding to extend an app that allows retailers to share intelligence around crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Northampton Town Anti-Social Behaviour Reporting Scheme (NTARS) is a bespoke programme designed to enable Northampton town centre businesses to collate and share intelligence on anti-social behaviour and ‘low level crime’.

It was launched by Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Northampton Business Crime Partnership (NBCP) and has now received funding from the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner that will see its work extended for a further 12 months.

Mark Mullen, operations manager at Northampton Town Centre BID, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding, which effectively covers 85 per cent of the cost of the programme for the next year.

“The NTARS system has been extremely well-received by our levy-paying businesses who use the platform to record any issues or actions concerning anti-social behaviour.

“The system is designed to support a robust and collaborative approach to dealing with low level crime and we are working with multiple partners to ensure criminals are given a clear message that they are not welcome in our town centre. It significantly increases our resilience to anti-social behaviour and is a prime example of the independent spirit our businesses show in ensuring Northampton is a safe and welcoming place to visit.”

The system feeds directly into West Northamptonshire Council’s ASB Case management team and into NBCP, based within Campbell Square Police Station. The information is used by the ASB Case Officer and Police and has a cross-flow of information and intelligence with Northamptonshire Police.

Danielle Stone, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, said: “I’m pleased to support this initiative which is all about bringing people and organisations together to collaborate and tackle crime and I’m looking forward to hearing how it is making a difference to crime, anti-social behaviour and people’s feelings of safety in Northampton.

“I have made a clear commitment to taking a stronger approach to retail crime, so that our retailers and other businesses are protected from harm, and this initiative is looking more broadly at starting to create a safer, more comfortable environment for everyone who visits or lives in Northampton town centre.”

NTARS runs both on a computer and via a mobile phone app, meaning that if a business is a member of the scheme, all appropriate staff can have access to the platform.

Businesses can directly report instances of anti-social behaviour, including begging and street drinking, as well as ‘low level’ offences such as environmental criminal damage, graffiti and fly-tipping.

The system also allows businesses to report areas of rough sleeping with a view to encouraging earlier interventions from appropriate agencies.

NTARS features viewable ‘galleries’ of ASB offenders and members can report actionable intelligence into the system. This includes static images or CCTV stills.

For more details visit www.discovernorthampton.co.uk